Doyle and Clarke extend Blues stays

Jack Whatmough, centre, was gaffer for a day Josh Sweetmans Pompey man of the match from Saturdays draw against Walsall

Pompey 1 Walsall 1: Gaffer for a day

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Michael Doyle has been rewarded for his Pompey performances with a new deal.

The Blues skipper has been an integral part of Paul Cook’s side since arriving from Sheffield United in the summer.

Michael Doyle Picture: Joe Pepler

Michael Doyle Picture: Joe Pepler

And that has been recognised with a contract extension, to take the 34-year-old to the summer of 2017.

Doyle has made 26 appearances for Pompey and been an automatic choice in the holding-midfield area of Cook’s side.

His combative displays, work-rate and natural leadership have established him as one of the Blues’ leading performers.

Now he has been given a longer Fratton Park deal by the manager.

It represented the second piece of good news for Pompey fans yesterday, with Matt Clarke also increasing his stay.

The 19-year-old centre-half extended his loan switch from Ipswich until the end of the season – a move which had been anticipated.

Clarke has started the past four matches, following injury to Christian Burgess, and continued to impress.

It has been that return to playing first-team football regularly which convinced the Tractor Boys to allow him to remain at Fratton Park.

However, he will not be able to face his parent club in Saturday’s FA Cup third-round trip to Portman Road.

Instead, Cook will either risk Burgess or throw in Adam Barton alongside Adam Webster in the centre of defence against the Championship side.

On Monday, Marc McNulty also agreed to remain at Fratton Park until the season’s end.

The loan deal of Caolan Lavery expires next week, with the Blues keen to retain the four-goal Sheffield Wednesday striker.